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Did the Titans’ playoff run hurt them in their coaching search?

It’s a popular narrative out there, but is it true?

Denver Broncos vs. New England Patriots, NFL Week 10 Photo by John Leyba/The Denver Post via Getty Images

There are anywhere from 3-5 coaches from the championship games on Sunday that will be head coaches somewhere else in 2018. Those coaches for the Eagles, Patriots and Vikings had the opportunity to interview for vacant head coaching positions during their respective teams bye weeks when the playoffs first started. That means that teams like the Lions, Cardinals, Colts and anyone else who fired their coaches at the end of the season had the opportunity to interview coaches like Josh McDaniels, John DeFilippo, Pat Shurmur, etc. during that week. The Titans did not have that opportunity because Mike Mularkey was still the coach and was preparing for a playoff game against the Chiefs.

There is a narrative out there that the Titans are at a disadvantage with these guys because of that. This narrative gets extra fuel with the report that Josh McDaniels has already chosen the Colts without ever talking to the Titans.

Frankly, I think that narrative is crap. First off, no contracts can legally be signed before the team that the coach currently works for is eliminated from the playoffs. That means a guy like McDaniels is free to change his mind if a better opportunity comes along.

Secondly, is a guy really going to choose a worse situation for himself just because he said he would without knowing the Titans job would come available? I get the “your word is your bond” stuff, but that’s not really a thing in coaching. Also, look at a guy like McDaniels. He is only going to get one more shot at being a head coach. Why would he not want to go to the place that gives him a better chance to succeed from day one? And furthermore on McDaniels, if he is the guy that Jon Robinson wants and you don’t think that they have been having conversations through back channels for the last month or so, well I have some ocean front property in Arizona that I would like to sell you.

The bottom line is any coach that would have taken this job 2 weeks ago is still going to take it after his team is eliminated from the playoffs, regardless of other conversations they have had to this point.